Medical Panels

Wrongs Act referrals

An independent medical opinion on whether there’s a significant injury under the Wrongs Act.

Who can make a referral

A Wrongs Act referral is made in personal injury claims.  The referral is made by the person who is being sued.

How to make a referral

To submit a referral you’ll need to complete the Wrongs Act Referral Form, accompanied by a variety of other documents. Your referral must include the form and:

  • copies of any certificates of assessment (see below for an additional note on certificates of assessment)
  • Form 4 from the claimant
  • statement of claim, if you’ve received one

Other useful documents to send include: 

  • A copy of the medical report that accompanies the certificate of assessment if you have it. The report helps the Convenor choose the most appropriate panel members for your referral.
  • A letter from you telling the Medical Panel anything you think is important, or that you’re relying on. You can also draw the Medical Panel’s attention to important parts of the medical records, surveillance or other documents.
  • Any medical records, surveillance, surveillance reports, operation reports or similar documents that you have. We may ask you to send the documents on a CD or USB if there is a large volume of them.

Note: You should send any documents to the other parties to the referral as well as to us.

You should also let us know if the claimant: 

  • has a litigation guardian
  • needs an interpreter (please tell us the exact language and dialect)
  • has special requirements or needs, including cultural considerations
  • is recovering from recent surgery or is going to have surgery soon (the appointment might need to be delayed to give them time to recover)

Certificates of assessment

Please note the following:

  • If you send a physical certificate of assessment, only physical injuries will be assessed.
  • If you send a psychiatric certificate of assessment, only psychiatric injuries will be assessed.
  • If you send both types of certificate, one Medical Panel will do both assessments. The impairment assessments are not combined and will be presented separately.

Submitting the referral

You can submit a referral by post, DX or email.  

Post

Convenor of Medical Panels
GPO Box 2709
Melbourne VIC 3001

DX

Convenor of Medical Panels
DX 116
Melbourne

Email

Convenor of Medical Panels
info@medicalpanels.vic.gov.au

Forms and resources

The referral process

Once we receive your referral, we send acknowledgment letters to all parties. We then contact the claimant directly to find a suitable appointment time. The waiting time for an appointment depends on the type of injury and the availability of the most suitable panel members.

Appointment letters are sent approximately four weeks prior to the appointment with details of:

  • the panel members’ names and specialties
  • the date, time and location of the appointment

Most appointments are held at our La Trobe St location, but some specialists (for example, ophthalmologists (eye specialists)) see people at other locations with specialised equipment.

Appointments involve meeting the Medical Panel, answering questions and often involve a medical examination.

Travel arrangements

Reasonable travel and accommodation arrangements and costs need to be agreed between the parties early in the process to avoid individuals missing their appointments. Organising this is the responsibility of the respondent and the claimant.

Making submissions

A Medical Panel can ask for information or submissions during the referral process. 

Anyone can send further information and submissions to the Medical Panel, but it’s most useful for the Medical Panel to have that information before the appointment. The Medical Panel might need an extension of time if anything is received late in the process. This enables everyone to see the documents and gives the Medical Panel time to consider them.

You should send any documents to the other parties to the referral as well as to us. You can check the lists known as “Enclosure” in the correspondence from us to see what documents have been sent to the Medical Panel. (“Enclosure A” is a list of documents sent with the referral. “Enclosure B” lists any documents that are received after the initial referral, and may be updated more than once throughout the referral process.) A copy of Enclosure B is distributed to all the parties by Medical Panels each time it’s updated (i.e. each time additional documentation is added to the referral). 

Getting the Medical Panel’s decision

Every Medical Panel is committed to finalising and sending its opinion as soon as possible.  Legislation gives a Medical Panel 30 days from the date of the appointment to make its decision and send it to the parties. This legislative timeframe can be extended automatically if the Medical Panel has asked for information. It can also be extended with everyone’s consent. For example, a Medical Panel might need more time: to consider information that’s received late in the process; or if a party indicates they want to make another submission.

Reviewed 08 November 2019

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